THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Opposition UDF leadership has decided to intensify its protest against the SilverLine project. Senior Congress leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, however, stayed away from the UDF coordination committee meeting held at Cantonment House on Monday.
Raising the demand for an alternative project instead of SilverLine, the UDF will hold a protest march to the Secretariat on December 18. A decision has been made to hold a peoples's protest campaign against the LDF government's dream project of SilverLine which will make 20,000 families homeless, 50,000 traders lose their shops and lead to the loss of 149 hectares of paddy land.
"The state government should give priority to enhance the existing railway line. When the state is already reeling under Rs 4 lakh crore loss, they are keen on going ahead with the SilverLine project which is expected to cost Rs 2 lakh crore," said MM Hassan, UDF convener.
The meeting also decided to visit the tribal hamlets of Attapadi, which is witnessing a spurt in infant deaths, on December 6. The UDF leadership said so far 52 infant deaths occured in Attapadi. The Opposition will also hold a dharna at Attapadi in protest against the apathy being meted out to the marginalised there.
Although Oommen Chandy and Chennithala were in the capital city, they deliberately stayed away from the UDF meeting. Both of them went to the Legislative Assembly to cast votes in the Rajya Sabha election. Even though the Cantonment House is only a stone's throw away, both of them chose not to go for the meeting. Sources close to the duo told TNIE that they are upset with the state Congress leadership for its unilateral stand in taking party decisions.
"I had personally invited them to attend the UDF meeting. I just know that they didn't attend. Many leaders like RSP leader NK Premachandran, Congress leaders K Sudhakaran, Benny Behanan and K Muraleedharan too did not attend the UDF meeting as they are away in New Delhi to attend the Parliament session," added Hassan.